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Reviews by Dai Alanye

The Best American Humorous Short Stories

by Various

Possibly the worst short story collection I've ever read. As too often happens, the editor—Jessup, finds it necessary to spout off at length about his vast knowledge and the idealized reasons for choosing these particular tales, wasting space which might have held two more stories.

It contains a one or two humorous stories, some droll efforts, a couple of decent anecdotes, one of the worst things Poe ever wrote, a weak example of Bret Harte, Twain's Jumping Frog, and at least one tale that no rational person would ever call humor.

If I gave stars (which I no longer do) it would rate minus 1.

Reviewed on 2016.04.06

The Desert of Wheat

by Zane Grey

A pretty decent story of Washington State, the IWW and the First World War. Melodramatic and a bit wordy with idealized hero and heroine but definitely worth a read.
[I've stopped giving stars]

Reviewed on 2016.03.30

The Astonishing History of Troy Town

by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

I'm astonished at how comical this was, never dragging except during the first long tale by Caleb. I was reminded of Twain, and in a good way.

[I ignore stars]

Reviewed on 2015.09.11

Flower of the Gorse

by Louis Tracy

Pretty darn good book. A bit too Victorian and idealistic, perhaps, and with one huge flaming coincidence but with good characters and some splendid sailing. And a splendid heroine.

Makes me want to visit Brittany, though not enough to learn French.

[I ignore stars]

Reviewed on 2015.09.11

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Author of the Day

Alexander McNabb
When Alexander McNabb stopped smoking, he had to find something constructive to do with his hands - so he started writing. His debut novel Olives - A Violent Romance, sparked a lot of controversy in the Middle East because of his use of common family names and because it contained themes such as drinking alcohol, sex before marriage etc. So he followed it with Beirut, in which there’s booze aplenty, sex, gambling, murder, violence and general mayhem. As our Author of the Day, McNabb chats about his love for the Middle East, why his books always deal with politics, democratic values and religion and reveals what music he listens to while writing.
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